National Party MP Simon O'Connor has taken down a Facebook post after leader Christopher Luxon said it was "causing distress" following a controversial US Supreme Court ruling on abortion.
The post by O'Connor, the MP for Tāmaki, said: "Today is a good day." It was made after the US Supreme Court overturned the landmark 1973 Roe v Wade decision that recognised a woman's constitutional right to an abortion and legalised it nationwide.
National Party leader Christopher Luxon said the Roe v Wade decision was "distressing for many women" and he empathised with them.
"Simon O’Connor's post was taken down because it was causing distress and does not represent the position of the National Party," Luxon said in a statement.
"Our situation in New Zealand is very different from that occurring in the US. New Zealand's abortion laws were debated in detail, voted on and ultimately settled in the last parliament during 2019-2020.
"I have been consistent since becoming leader that these laws will not be relitigated or revisited under a future National Government and these health services will remain fully funded."
Luxon's statement came O'Connor's comments sparked backlash on social media.
"Shame on you Simon O'Connor," one Twitter user said.
"If you think you don't know and love someone who decided to get an abortion, you're wrong. Even you, Simon O'Connor," wrote another. "There are many reasons why people decide to terminate a pregnancy. It is essential healthcare and must be safe and accessible."
Luxon said he understood how "deeply held" people's views on abortion were.
"It's important to me that women in New Zealand can have certainty that if I am elected Prime Minister these issues will not be put back on the table for further debate."
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said on Saturday the Roe v Wade decision was "incredibly upsetting".
Personal beliefs shouldn't rob people of making their own decisions, she said.